Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Double Feature: Screamers & Screamers: The Hunting

Genre - Sci-Fi
Year Released - 1995
Running Time - 108 minutes
Directed by Christian Duguay (Live Wire, Scanners 2 & 3, and The Art of War)
Written by Dan O'Bannon (the Alien films, including Alien vs Predator - The Return of the Living Dead, Lifeforce, Dead & Buried, Total Recall, and also Blue Thunder) and Miguel Tejada-Flores (Fright Night II, Beyond Re-Animator, Darkness)
*Based on the short story Second Variety by Philip K. Dick (Blade Runner, Total Recall, Paycheck, A Scanner Darkly)
Cast Includes:
Peter Weller (Robocop, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, Naked Lunch)
Andy Lauer
Jennifer Ruben (Taryn from A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, The Doors, The Crush)
Roy Dupuis (Michael from the television series La Femme Nikita)

Rating: 3 Skulls


Plot Summary:
It's 2078 on the war-torn planet of Sirius 6B, and the man-eating mini-monsters created by Commander Hendrickson, to fight off the New Economic Block, have now become the biggest obstacle to a cease-fire.


Screamers: The Hunting

Genre - Sci-Fi
Year Released - 2009
Running Time - 99 minutes
Directed by Sheldon Wilson (who also directed Shallow Ground)
Written by Miguel Tejada-Flores (who co-wrote the 1st Screamers) and Tom Berry (who produced the 1st Screamers)
Cast Includes:
Gina Holden (she was in the television series Blood Ties and Flash Gordon - she was also in The Butterfly Effect 2, Alien vs Predator: Requiem, and Final Destination 3)
Greg Bryk (Saw V)
Lance Henricksen (Bishop from Aliens/AvP, Frank Black from Millennium, Near Dark, Pumpkinhead, etc)

Rating: 3 Skulls


Plot Summary:
In this sequel to the 1st Screamers, a team of rescuers from Earth responds to an SOS from an abandoned planet, only to find a motley crew of human survivors eking out an existence there.
But are these humans really human, or have the Screamers - the robotic killers that destroyed the other human inhabitants - simply morphed into human form to carry out an even more sinister mission?

Review: [for both films]
The 1st Screamers starts off on the planet Sirius 6B, in the year 2078, where for the last 50 years, the New Economic Block [N.E.B.] corporation has controlled all of the mining operations throughout the known solar system.
Twenty years prior, the N.E.B. discovered the solution to the world's energy crisis - Berynium - but they soon found out that mining Berynium unleashed lethal doses of radiation and pollution.
"The Alliance" - a federation of mine workers and scientists - demanded that the N.E.B. immediately stop all mining operations. The N.E.B.'s response was to declare all out war.
Soon enough, massive N.E.B. nuclear bombing raids decimated the civilian population of Sirius 6B and devastated the once beautiful planet. Thousands were killed by clouds of the deadly Berynium radiation.

Enter the Screamers - machines built by "The Alliance" to help against the war against the N.E.B.
They are called Screamers because of the ear-piercing scream that they produce en-route to destroy the enemy. Problem is, the Screamers have begun modifying themselves - not only that, they are breeding. . .


The 2nd Screamers - The Hunting - takes place 13 years after the events of the 1st film.
A rescue team is sent to Sirius 6B to see if there are any survivors left over from the war. Problem is, as they draw closer to the planet, they realize that a massive meteor storm is going to hit the planet in 6 days time - a storm big enough to destroy the planet completely.

En-route, we learn that one of the team members [Gina Holden] turned down an opportunity to command her own ship, to be a part of this rescue mission - if you've seen the 1st one, it is pretty obvious why. Speaking of obvious, you can see the end of this one coming from a mile away!

Still, both films are watchable and enjoyable, if you are a sci-fi fan.

Here are the trailers for both films [the 1st one cuts off before it ends - it was the only trailer I could find]




Jason

6 comments:

Bearded Weirdo Reviews said...

Cool double feature review. I actually just stumbled across that Screamers sequel at Blockbuster the other day. I plan to check it out sometime, but I haven't had the chance yet. I saw the original a long time ago and thought it was pretty good. Not great. But good. Had a lot of promise. I think the original film's biggest weakness was simply the miniscule budget it got saddled with. With a little more money, to better realize the Screamers and make them more of a threat and show some more action, I thought the original flick could've been really, really great. Hopefully this sequel will do better, but I'm not expecting it to.

thebonebreaker said...

William,

You are dead on!
While neither film is "great" they are both watchable - the sequel doesn't really add a whole lot more to the storyline - but it has its moments, and it does have some decent gore scenes...

J

iMike said...

Its amazing how one role (Robocop) can overshadow an entire career. lol

thebonebreaker said...

Mike,

You are right - Weller is [and always will be] Robocop to me :-)

J

Michael Ross Allen said...

I thought the first "Screamers," was really good, the second, not so much except for Henricksen. Check out "Bone Dry," sometime with Henricksen. This one is really good and Henricksen's acting blows away his co-star.
-Mike

thebonebreaker said...

Mike,

Thanks for the recommendation!
[I have gone ahead and added Bone Dry to my Netflix Queue] :-)

J